SAN DIEGO–San Diego Padres infielder Everth Cabrera has been named Nicaragua’s 2009 Professional Athlete of the Year by the country’s Sports Writers Association.
Cabrera, 23, won the distinction over Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla and boxers Roman Gonzalez and Juan Palacios. He will be honored on Friday, January 29 in Managua.
As a rookie, Cabrera batted .255 (96-for-377) with 18 doubles, eight triples, two home runs, 59 runs and 46 walks. His 25 steals were the most by a Padre since 2006 and the fifth-most ever by a Padre rookie.
A native of Nandaime, Nicaragua, Cabrera reached base safely in 85 of his 103 games, posting a .342 on-base percentage. He ranked among National League leaders in stolen bases (T9th, 25) and steals of third (T5th, 6) and was among NL rookies in stolen bases (2nd), stolen base percentage (2nd, 75.8) and steals of third (1st).
On August 7 he hit San Diego’s only grand slam of the season in walk-off fashion off the New York Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez. It was the fourth walk-off grand slam in Padres history and the first ever by a San Diego rookie.
Cabrera was selected by the Padres in the first round of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft from the Colorado Rockies and made his Major League debut April 8 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. He served as the club’s primary shortstop in 2009, starting 101 games.